Forever Ambergris Recap

Two war photographers, Dalton Scott and Ike Forte, are flying overseas with a squad of soldiers. Ike asks Dalton for his opinion of his photos, and Dalton dismissively says that they’re not bad. The older photographer takes out his current photos but admits that they’re junk. Ike gushes over Dalton’s older photos, and Dalton figures that he’s lost it. Ike takes out a bag of incense and explains that he always brings some back for his girlfriend Bobbi. The young photographer invites Dalton to supper when they get back, but Dalton says that he has plenty of girls waiting for him.

Later back at his editor’s office, Dalton’s editor Randolph complains that Dalton’s photos are garbage. Dalton insists that he’s working on something big and he’s heading to Central America to go out with a guerilla group. Randolph says that Ike is a star, and the photographer Dalton was 20 years ago. Dalton isn’t impressed, and Randolph tells him to bring back something impressive... and take Ike with him.

That night, Dalton goes to Ike’s place and Bobbi answers the door. Dalton is surprised that Ike has such an attractive girlfriend. Ike runs up and invites Dalton in, and they sit down for supper. As Dalton eats, Bobbi and Ike dance. A drunken Ike insists that Dalton dance with Bobbi and goes to the bathroom. Dalton points out that Bobbi doesn’t seem like the kind of girl that would date a combat photographer, and Bobbi says that Ike sees things that no one else does. She describes how they were out hiking and Ike dug a dead possum that they found, and saw beauty in the most grotesque things.

Ike comes back and dances with Bobbi again. Dalton lies on the couch and hears the couple going to bed. They’ve forgotten all about him, and Dalton secretly watches as they make love. When Bobbi glances over, Dalton quickly closes the door. A few minutes later, Bobbi gets a joint from the kitchen and Dalton comes up behind her. She offers him the joint and figures that Dalton likes to watch while others do. He asks what she does when Ike is away, figuring that she gets lonely, and Dalton asks what she’ll do if Ike doesn’t come back. Bobbi says that she’d probably die herself, and Dalton says that it would be a tragedy. She warns that she worships Ike and tells Dalton to take care of him, and goes back to the bedroom.

Later, Dalton and Ike are on their way to Central America by plane. Ike dozes off and Dalton hears a guerilla, Rock, call his name. Dalton explains that he needs something big to get back into the business. Rock tells him about a massacre at Vamallero, a village in Campasino. He says that they found canisters around the isolated village, and warns that the place is contaminated. Dalton says that he’ll come back.

When they arrive, the guerillas head into the jungle with Dalton and Ike. One of the mercs, Dominic Salucci, says that Dalton is the only guy he knows that uses them to make money. Dalton says that he’s going down to Vamallero, and another merc, Little Wing, warns that it’s real bad. Unimpressed, Dalton starts to head off. Ike asks to come with him, but Dalton says that one of them has to go out with the mercs. The young photographer suggests that he go to Vamallero, and Dalton accuses him of taking his last chance to get back into the sun. Ike insists that they’ll share the shots, but Dalton yells at him to get away and storms off. A few minutes later, Dalton tells Ike to go and gives him the directions, and says that they can share the credit. The squad leader, Uncle Ahern, tells Ike to be careful.

That night, the mercs make camp without spotting anything. Dalton goes to his tent and finds Ike inside. Ike says that Vamallero was a mess and starts to say that even Dalton could get a good shot. He cuts himself off and says that they’ll hit all the major magazines, and goes to have Salucci send out his photos.

Later that night, Dalton wakes up to Ike’s screams. He says that it burns and convulses, and Dalton goes to have Little Wing radio for help. However, Dalton tells the merc that he’ll take care of Ike. He goes back to where Ike is falling apart... literally. The older photographer says that he radioed for an evac, then lights a cigarette and watches, smiling. Ike realizes that Dalton knew what would happen, and Dalton boasts that he’ll take the credit for the photos... and look after Bobbi. Ike’s eyeball falls out and Dalton puts his cigarette out in it. Chuckling, he walks out while Ike dies.

Dalton spends the rest of the night with the mercs. Uncle Salty describes how one merc lost his nose to rot. Ike staggers out, rotting, and whispers Dalton’s name. Dalton grabs a rifle and kills Ike before he can say anything else, and says that he had to kill Ike before he contaminated them all. He says that they have to burn the body, and Uncle Salty agrees.

As he flies back, Dalton admires Ike’s photos. When Randolph sees them, he tells Dalton that he has it back. The editor says that it’s too bad about Ike, and Dalton tells him that war is home.

Later, Dalton takes flowers to Bobbi and offers his condolences. She has the postcard that Ike was writing and pours Dalton some more wine. When she asks if Ike suffered, Dalton lies and says that he went peacefully. Bobbi says that Salucci sent a letter saying that Dalton sent Ike to the village knowing that he’d get sick, and that he took the photos and then shot Ike dead. Despite that, she offers Dalton a joint and says that she didn’t believe it. Dalton says that she loved Ike like a brother and kisses her.

In the bedroom, Dalton and Bobbi have sex. As they do, she says that she saw the photos and realized that they’re Ike’s... and Dalton stole them. Her skin starts to split apart, and Bobbi says that they both have what Ike had. He sent her some incense from the village and they just smoked it. Dalton says that they’ll both die, and Bobbi says that they all have to make sacrifices. Her skin splits apart and Bobbi dies horribly, her brain raining down on Dalton.

Terrified, Dalton runs to the bathroom to wash the blood off. Something plops into the sink, and Dalton looks in the mirror and realizes that it’s his nose.

Written by Gadfly on Sep 17, 2016